Basic Fish Jerky Recipe (Brining and Curing)
Fish of your choice
3/4 C Non-iodized salt
1 1/2 Quarts Water
Dry cure of your choice
Note: Dehydrating fish can be a risky endeavor so be prepared and know your materials. Your fish must be extremely fresh to prevent spoilage and be aware of the oil content of the fish. The more fat a fish has, the faster it can spoil, even if cured or turned into jerky so choose lean fish and avoid the fattier cuts of any fish you use to make jerky.
Brining and Curing
Preparing the fish jerky (curing): Prepare a brine by combining the salt, water and sugar in a bowl. The water can be heated to assist in dissolving the salt, however do not put the fish into the brine until it has reached room temperature or cooler. Trim the fish into desired shapes and place in the brine, leaving the fish to soak for approximately half an hour. Remove fish and rinse thoroughly to remove excess salt from the meat. Coat the fish with your dry cure (check out the ‘dry cure’ section for dry cure recipe mixes) and place in a sealed container in your refrigerator for 6-10 hours.
Drying the fish jerky: Remove the fish from the refrigerator and remove any excess dry cure. Place the fish in your dehydrator or oven so that no pieces are touching and set the temperature to 145 degrees and process for 12-14 hours. When the fish jerky is ready, it should not be overly dry or crumble, but ever so slightly yielding to a squeeze on the thickest part of the meat. Let jerky cool completely on racks; remove from racks and store in airtight, insect proof containers in a cool, dry place. You may also freeze or refrigerate the jerky, however keep in mind that cold jerky will collect moisture from the air when taken out of cold storage.